The rise of Bitcoin (BTC) over the years – a complete lookback
This January Bitcoin turned ten! On January 3rd, 2009, a few months after the original whitepaper was released, the first lines of code were committed to the bitcoin blockchain. These lines of code, the “genesis block”, are credited to Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin was initially founded as “money with a philosophy”: it had programming and Nakamoto’s whitepaper instead of a central bank, both of which suggested skepticism about ordinary financial institutions. As the price of the bitcoin increased, for the financial system it has become another investment vehicle.
Its value, however, was not stable: the BTC rates were in decline as well as rapidly growing in different periods of its existence. Looking back, we can see Bitcoin (BTC) has generally an uptrend over the years – with a few notable exceptions.
10 years later Bitcoin (BTC) still remains the most reliable cryptocurrency, with no signs of slowing down. In this article, we look at the price of Bitcoin on its past birthdays and some important things which contributed to its price.
Table of Contents
3rd Jan 2009: ~ $0
Nakamoto sent Hal Finney 10 bitcoin on January 12, and a new financial phenomenon was born. The value of the bitcoin was zero at this point. The internet users gave each other essentially bitcoins as rewards for good forum comments.
3rd Jan 2010: ~ $0
The first “actual” transaction of BTC was carried out on May 22, 2010. Laszlo Hanyecz purchased two pizzas at Papa John’s, or about $30, for 10,000 BTC. Blockchain experts claim that before Nakamoto disappeared and gave control of the code repository to Gavin Andresen, the founder mined about one million BTC. Andresen then sought to decentralize power. This left dispute opportunity to develop over Bitcoin’s future development path, as opposed to Nakamoto’s assumed contribution authority.
⬆3rd Jan 2011: $0.125
The first major users of bitcoin were black markets, such as the Silk Road. In the beginning, in February 2011, Silk Road accepted only BTC as payment, transacting 9.9 million in bitcoins worth around $214 million. Based on the open-source code of Bitcoin, in 2011, the majority of cryptocurrencies started to emerge. In January 2011, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization, began accepting BTC and then stopped accepting them in June 2011, citing concerns about the lack of a legal precedent for new currency systems. The decision of the EFF was reversed on 17 May 2013 when they restored recognition of Bitcoin.
⬆3rd Jan 2012: $2
In January 2012, in the third-season episode “Bitcoin for Dummies,” the cryptocurrency was featured as the main subject in a fictional trial on the CBS legal drama The Good Wife. CNBC’s host Mad Money, Jim Cramer, played himself in a courtroom scene where he testifies that he doesn’t consider bitcoin a true currency, saying “There’s no central bank to regulate it; it’s digital and works peer-to-peer”. In September 2012, the Bitcoin Foundation was launched to accelerate the global growth of Bitcoin through standardization, protection, and promotion.
⬆3rd Jan 2013: $13
In February 2013, Coinbase reported selling $1 million worth of BTC in one month at more than $22 per bitcoin. The Internet Archive confirmed that it was willing to accept contributions as bitcoins and that it intended to give workers the option of receiving portions of their wages in this cryptocurrency.
This year, the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has also developed guidelines for cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, classifying American bitcoin miners who sell their produced bitcoins as Money Service Businesses (MSBs) subject to registration or other legal obligations.
A project began in Kenya in July 2013 linking bitcoin to M-Pesa, a popular mobile payment system, in an experiment designed to stimulate innovative payments in Africa.
This year also saw the major adoption of Bitcoin in the consumer market. Online dating site OkCupid, retailer Overstock.com, and now closed food delivery startup – Foodler, all started accepting Bitcoin.
⬆3rd Jan 2014: $822.02
Zynga, Dell, Microsoft and a number of large corporations started accepting BTC. Several lighthearted songs celebrating bitcoin have been released, such as Ode to Satoshi. In the same year, a documentary, The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin, was firstly shown, featuring interviews with users of BTC.
The infamous Mt. Gox hack took place this year which crashed the Bitcoin prices.
⬇3rd Jan 2015: $302.13
Less than a year after the fall of Mt. Gox, Bitstamp, headquartered in the United Kingdom, revealed that their exchange would be taken offline while investigating a hack that resulted in about 19,000 bitcoins (equivalent to about US$ 5 million at the time) being stolen from their hot wallet. Bitstamp resumed trading on 9 January after rising security measures and ensuring that customers were not affected by their account balance.
⬆3rd Jan 2016: $426.17
The Cabinet of Japan identified bitcoin as having a similar purpose to real money. Digital assets experts around the world were publishing research papers demonstrating that Bitcoin commerce was no longer driven by shady but rather by legitimate businesses. The number of articles published by Google Scholar referring to BTC grew from 83 in 2009 to 3580 in 2016.
⬆3rd Jan 2017: $1029. 41
More and more businesses started to accept BTC. NHK announced a 4.6-fold increase in the number of online stores accepting bitcoin in Japan over the past year. BitPay’s CEO Stephen Pair stated a 3-fold increase in the transaction rate of the business from January 2016 to February 2017, illustrating the use of bitcoin in supply chain payments. Exchange trading volumes were continuing to emerge.
Bitcoin reached an all-time high at the end of 2017. More than 40 million people (unconfirmed) bought Bitcoin at an ATH.
CBOE’s Bitcoin Futures were approved this year.
⬆3rd Jan 2018: $15140. 92
Even though at the very beginning of the year BTC rates were incredibly high, several days after that, the Bitcoin crash happened. Bitcoin’s price fell by about 65 percent during the month from January 6 to February 6, 2018, following an unparalleled boom in 2017. By September, other cryptocurrencies experienced a decrease as well.
⬇3rd Jan 2019: $3849.79
In September 2019, the Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE’s owner) began trading bitcoin futures on its exchange named Bakkt. It confirmed that it would introduce Bitcoin options in December 2019. YouTube removed Bitcoin and cryptocurrency videos in December 2019 but later restored the content.
⬆3rd Jan 2020: $7283.43
Compared to the beginning of the previous year, Bitcoin rates increased. Crypto analysts estimate that during the year BTC will reach another peak, around $20 000. At the time of the article, Bitcoin is currently trading at $8,389.
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